Watching seals in Ostend. Yes, you can!

Seal ostend apartment sea view

"We see a seal from your apartment!" Our guests send us this regularly. Because yes, there are more and more seals in Ostend. And they show themselves. We do not only rent the Apartment and the Loft with sea view… also with seal view.


First a warning because we regularly receive calls about seals. Do you spot a seal? Then leave the animal alone. Chances are it's just resting on the beach or beach head. If you think the seal is in distress or ill, please call:

Watching seals in Ostend our guests increasingly. The Klein Strand on the Strekdam is a popular resting place for the sea creatures.

And they often lay on the breakwaters or abutments in our quieter part of Ostend (Read 5 advantages of our location on the Zeedijk in Ostend).

Because the Apartment and the Loft we rent have a frontal sea view you may also be able to spot seals.

Seals in Ostend. Thanks to © Willy Bauwens

Seals lie on the beach or breakwaters

A seal in Ostend quickly gathers a group of spectators around it. When it rests on a beach cap or on the beach, the black-gray animal immediately attracts attention. A few individuals approach as close as possible to take a nice photo.

But this is not the intention. Seals on the beach or breakwaters should be left alone. They lie there to rest. They also prefer to do this without people and dogs around.

The city asks to keep a minimum distance of 20 meters so that you do not disturb the animals. The balconies of our rental apartments are therefore a great place to watch seals. Be sure to bring your binoculars!

Seal ostend apartment sea view
Curious seals. Maybe they will pop up next to you during the very quiet days by the sea. © Photo Unsplash

Sometimes I swim in the sea with seals

Swimming with seals is not a tourist attraction in Ostend, like bicycles and go-karts are available in Ostend. But still it just happens to me every now and then in the spring or fall.

When the sea is calm and there are no other bathers, sometimes a cup pops up next to me.

The seal was pretty close in the sea. But of course hardly visible in photo 😉 © Photo Hans Hermans

That first time I said: "Hello little seal". And put me back on the water. A moment later I saw that same cup to my left. Curious, it squinted at me. 

I swam to the right. And the play bird surfaced there. I swam to the left and that seal did just that. Punishment. I want to have this on photo.

I swam to the beach and named my GoPro. Just before I walked back to the water, that seal was also on the waterline on the beach. He or she was waiting for me. 

The quarter that followed was indescribable. You can read more about it in my Plea: Why I want to swim more often in open water on

Keep your dog on a leash

Attention! Seals and dogs are not friends. Seals give off a specific scent to which dogs can react strongly.

To prevent four-legged friends from walking up to the seals, they must be on a leash on Klein Strand. Because this beach is a popular resting place for the marine animals.

Follow this obligation. Because that way you also protect your own pet when you stay with your dog in the sea view apartment.

Usually there is no problem and the seals quickly flee into the water. But some larger specimens also dare to defend themselves and bite back.

seal on the beach of Ostend
A seal on the beach of Ostend. Attention! Always keep 20 meters away and your dog on a leash. © Photo Shutterstock

Call the seal team

If you spot a seal, the seal team will ask them to call. Call it North Seal Team at +32 491 74 32 78

They then come to see if the animal is in good condition. And they keep the spectators at bay. When a seal is sick or injured, this team contacts Sea life in Blankenberge. There the animal can be admitted for care.

When you see the beautiful seals on the Klein Strand on the Strekdam, you do not have to call. That's also what the banner that informs you as a passerby about the sea animals. And that beach is already closed to tourists and dogs.

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